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January 4, 2024

Study Finds TV And Radio Broadcasters Significant Contributors to Nation’s Economy

Stations Generate $1.23 Trillion in Economic Activity and Provide 2.52 Million Jobs

Local Radio and TV Help Drive the U.S. Economy WASHINGTON, D.C. – The local commercial broadcast television and radio industry generates $1.23 trillion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 2.52 million jobs through direct and stimulative effect on the American economy, found a new study by Woods & Poole Economics with support from BIA Advisory Services.

The analysis examines broadcasting’s impact on the economy through direct employment, its ripple effect on other industries and as an advertising medium for messaging consumers. Radio and television stations’ influence on the national economy, as well as information by state, is provided in the study.

“From trusted local and national news, live sporting events and popular network programming to critical emergency information, broadcasters provide the content Americans rely upon each day. These local stations are also an engine for economic health and development keeping local dollars within our hometowns across the country,” said NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “America’s broadcasters provide jobs, connect businesses with new customers through advertising and stimulate growth.”

The study found that direct employment from local commercial broadcasting, which includes jobs at local television and radio stations as well as in advertising and programming, is estimated at more than 314,000 jobs, generating more than $55 billion annually in economic impact. Broadcast television accounts for over 193,000 of these jobs, as well as more than $34 billion in GDP, while broadcast radio generates 121,000 jobs that result in more than $21 billion in GDP.

“Industries as varied as telecommunications, public utilities, manufacturing, transportation and retail trade provide inputs into the production of local television and radio broadcasting,” noted the study. “When measured with a technical input-output analysis an additional 99,000 jobs are supported in other industries because of the goods and services requirements of local television and radio broadcast stations.”

The study also examined the ripple effect employment in broadcasting has on local economies through the consumption of goods and services by industry employees. Local broadcasting has a ripple effect on other industries of nearly $139 billion in GDP and more than 784,000 jobs, the report concluded.

“The income from local television and radio broadcast jobs flows through the economy creating additional jobs and income in various economic sectors,” said the study. “A job in local television and radio broadcast stations multiplies itself by helping create jobs in construction, farming, mining, state and local government and all other economic sectors. The workers in the industries supplying goods and services to local television and radio broadcast workers in turn consume goods and services.”

Local broadcasting's largest impact on the American economy stems from its role as a forum for advertising of goods and services that stimulates economic activity, Woods & Poole found. The study estimated local broadcast TV and radio advertising generated $1.03 billion in GDP and supports 1.42 million jobs. More than $630 billion in GDP and 875,000 jobs are attributed to the stimulative effect of broadcast television, and nearly $400 billion in GDP and over 540,000 jobs are attributed to radio.

“The primary role of broadcast television and radio is reducing the cost of product information through advertising,” said the study. “In this way, broadcast television and radio stations have their most significant impact on economic growth. Reaching all United States households, local broadcast television and radio stations provide consumers with highly valued marketplace information and businesses with immediate economic and competitive intelligence.”

About Woods & Poole Economics, Inc.

Woods & Poole Economics, Inc. is an independent economic and demographic research firm located in Washington, D.C. Woods & Poole specializes in long-range economic and demographic projections at the county level and has produced long-range county forecasts since 1983. Users of Woods & Poole data include public utilities, state and local government, consultants, retailers, market research firms and planners.

About BIA Advisory Services

BIA Advisory Services advises companies in the local media space through consulting and valuation services, research and forecasts, Custom Advisory Services and conferences. Since 1983 BIA Advisory Services has been a resource to the media, mobile advertising, telecommunications, Yellow Pages and electronic directory markets, as well as to government agencies, law firms and investment companies looking to understand trends and revenue drivers.

About NAB

The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at


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